South-Western - Management  
Balancing Act: Work/life Programs Are Emerging as a Successful Motivational Tool
Topic Motivation
Key Words Work-life balance, motivation, productivity
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News Story 

While financial rewards are still the top incentive, companies are beginning to realize how important work/life balance issues have become to employees. More companies are offering work/life balance programs to their employees. In return, companies are reaping some unexpected benefits. Conversely, companies who are ignoring these issues are losing employees.

Employers who are offering work/life programs have noticed increases in productivity and commitment to the organization. In one recent survey, 46% of sales and marketing executives had lost team members because their jobs didn't allow for enough work/life balance. The programs that are most popular are those that help with everyday tasks, like childcare or elder care, and concierge-type services that help employees with common errands.

Work/life programs are a cost-effective way for companies to improve business results in addition to worker satisfaction. Companies have seen improved retention; for instance, one company reduced turnover from 40 percent to 23 percent by offering flexible workweeks. Another company found that on onsite fitness center kept employees with the company longer and more productive.

Questions
1.

What is a "work/life" balance program, and how are they helping motivate employees to perform better and stay longer?

2.

If programs like the ones mentioned in the article are so effective, why don't all companies put more resources into work/life balance programs?

Source "Balancing Act: Work/life Programs Are Emerging as a Successful Motivational Tool," Sales and Marketing Management, Feb., 2004, p. 16.
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